November 4th, 2008
09:49 PM ET
12 years ago

Exit Polls: Why McCain lost Pennsylvania

McCain-Palin signs line a row of homes in Philadelphia Tuesday.

McCain-Palin signs line a row of homes in Philadelphia Tuesday.

John McCain lost Pennsylvania because his campaign strategy in the state did not play out as planned:

1) McCain counted on older voters; Obama carried voters 65-and-above by a 51 percent to 48 percent margin. (Nationally, only 44 percent of the 65-plus age group counted thus far reports voting for Obama.)

2) McCain counted on working class white voters. Obama won whites with incomes under under $50,000 by a 52 percent to 47 percent margin. (Nationally, Obama is carrying 48 percent of this group.)

3) McCain also counted on drawing Pennsylvania voters who supported Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary. Obama won 81 percent of Pennsylvania Democrats who preferred Hillary Clinton in the primary (Nationally, the figure is 85 percent).

Filed under: Exit Polls • John McCain • Pennsylvania
soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. mohamed ben mohamed

    FOR ALL ( R ) sorry SEE YOU ON 2058

    November 4, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  2. muyeye

    nice to see a change, i hope all americans will work with this man and let go his race, the war within american citizens with all there wealth is more than that in nigeria, even though our citizens dont have good ELECTION like u people have, we make do with our SELECTION process SO STOP AND STOP war of WORDS get back to how to bring soldier back from the DESERT.

    November 5, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  3. Alvaro Pacheco

    Good luck Mr. Obama, good luck Mr. Biden, good luck America,
    Sincerely from Montreal

    November 5, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  4. a conscious mind

    I think what many people are failing to realize is that we are in a hole. I am an Obama supporter, and I stand by it for several reasons. But, we must not get caught up on this idea of "change." Yes, there will be a change, and I pray it's for the better, but to what extent is a change possible? And how drastic of a change is, in fact, possible given the current condition we are in? What are people really expecting? I think people are getting a bit caught up, and the last thing I think anyone (especially Obama) wants is for people to set the highest of high expectations for end results that Obama cannot live up to.

    He won Pa because of the various reasons stated–which need not to be repeated. But I also think he won because, as Chris Rock stated, people are "voting for the man with one house!" Why not vote for some one you can relate to (outside of the race factor). He has just as much at stake as anyone of us. How about the fact that he has dedicated much of his work to issues that are relevant to any community–esp urban communities–where everyday students are denied equal access to educational resources, families are torn apart because people are losing jobs, or how about the international relations–Mexicans everyday are being killed everyday because they are in search for what they perceive to be a better life. It has been eight years of hardship for people across all vertical and horizontal levels. It is time for a change, and we are living in a historical moment.

    So, let's not repeat history or taint this moment with ignorant, racist, and uncalled for comments such as "If I knew you people would be this much trouble I would have picked my own cotton." I think people like that have a lot of growing to do. It actually makes me wonder how you make it through life here, in America especially, when there are people here from different ethnicities. And "OBAMA may be the possible winner but they will have to live in the WHITE house. When does Air Force One get dubs, and the new call sign is 'The Soul Plane.'" is a prime example of how people limit their definitions of what it means to be of a particular ethnicity (or race as others put it). Since when does the color of a building mean anything? That's ridiculous, and I am ashamed for whoever lives next door to the person who made that comment. It baffles me that mentalities like that still exist, but on the other hand, it doesn't. It doesn't because just as you have the liberating voice, you also have the voice that counters that–one that is limiting and confining. One that is worse than of a child. I hope message really encourages people to think...but farther than just the political realm, also into their own lives...this is a time for change...a time to uplift the conscious minds in America...we're not all shallow and superficial.

    November 5, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  5. michael

    Everyone seems to believe Obama will solve all our problems and change the world. With expectations so high I fear we can only be disappointed. This is a distraction from personal action and responsibility. In 4 or 8 years we'll all be looking for the next person promising change.

    November 5, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  6. Bryan Downing

    voting for a man because of his race, religion, etc is a poor criterion to select a president. Foolish black people, trying to vindicate the ills against their grandparents voting for the antichrist who will destroy this country. He will turn the rest of america into ghettos and projects so all his supporters can know that their America is everybody elses. This is a sad day, when people elect a man based on the color of his skin rather than his qualifications. McCain was not much better, but he at least has half a clue of how this country ought to be run. Barry is an idiot and I hope he fails to prove that a black man with no experience has no "biznis" being president.

    November 5, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  7. sam

    Hi everyone,

    Obama raised up in white family (his mother side). He is a black man with white in his heart. No worries. You can tell, Cliton left behind over Billion dollars and Bush turned it into negative Billion dollars. Do you still trust Republican? Those money went into the pocket of Millatary Industries. Ha .....


    November 5, 2008 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  8. mark

    Now election is over, let's see if the winner will keep his promises( unrealistic- debt mounting promises- socialistic by nature and meant to fail). I see him as a great speaker, but I doubt how long it will take for us to realize that his 'lip service' will soon come to end. Well let's just wait and see if he can talk to the talk, and walk the walk. Big promises made are also big promises to be broke, Good luck to us all.

    November 5, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  9. trevor

    Why don't all of you McCain supporters back away from your bowl of sour grapes and support the winner who bring true hope and change for the first time in 8 years of crap your president buried this country one thinks he's going to magically change things overnight, it took 8 years for our country to become the laughing stock of the world, now we can actually have pride again. I was truly ashamed to be white tonight watching McCain's speech, the sea of angry white faces booing and acting like spoiled rotten children. You all need to grow up and buy a clue...we now all have a chance for a better country that will be respected in the world again. I'm sure you'll all be standing in line when you get your first tax break, because I sure as hell don't make over $250,000 a year! Grow up and wake up, people and admit you are mostly racist pieces of plop, that's the only reason you didn't vote for him, CASE CLOSED!

    November 5, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  10. Get-it-right America

    Thank you America for getting it right. The whole world is willing to work with the new President and we are sure the world will be a better place. CONGRATULATIONS AMERICA AND IN DEED THE WORLD

    November 5, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  11. Mike Smith

    I'm in PA. Everyone I talked to said they were afraid of Sarah Palin. Why did he pick her? I know many people who said they would have voted for McCain if he had a decent running mate.

    November 5, 2008 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  12. Sohrab from NYC

    Congratulations to the 44th President Mr.Barack Obama.Obama won the Presidency of the United States not because of a Democrats , a black,or the war ,economy in major but because his message to the USA and the world that need to be CHANGE the most hardest thing in life.He has faith in faith and doubt in doubts.He ran the campaign by HOPE instead of FEAR driven by John McCain.

    November 5, 2008 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  13. Cyrus Brooks

    The reason that McCain lost this election is that the american people belive what the media feeds them as the truth. We are a country who blaims the President for our economy not the congress which controls the money and for the last two year has been democatic lead. . We also belive because a person is a good speaker they would be a good leader. Might I reminde us that the best speakers the world has know, have been dictators or tyrants. I am sad for america and americans. I am a vet who served his country in war time and I am now truely affraid for our security. I pray we are not in for a very troubling time.

    November 5, 2008 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  14. J T (not JT)

    Two words for why Barack Obama won Pennsylvania:

    Joe Biden.

    Sarah Palin is an idiot, and an absurd choice to be one step from the presidency, but she didn't lose this race for McCain. George W. Bush lost this race for McCain. (McCain reversing himself on everything that made him who he was in order to back Bush 90% of the time was the right way to win the Republican nomination and the backing of the party machine, but not the right way to win an election...he should have run as an independent.) George W. Bush severely damaged nearly every element of what makes this country great, including many of the things the Republicans have always touted as "theirs," shredding the constitution, making a mockery of government oversight, unleashing the economy to destroy itself and tank the stock market, and running the military into the ground. One more term like that and this country would have needed a revolution to bring itself back. Now hopefully that will happen as it was intended by our founding fathers...although they would have wished there to be an impeachment before we got to this point, as have I.

    Barack and Joe, God bless you both, I hope this country can work together and get us all back in shape and move us forward not only for our own sake but for the whole world and future generations as well.

    November 5, 2008 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  15. Josh from Canada

    Good Job AMERICA!!

    The entire planet was hoping that you would once again (against all odds) do the seemingly impossible. No rockets red glare or bombs bursting in air; not a single shot – this time. Your flag is still there; but, it somehow shines bolder and brighter than ever before.

    I'm not an American and had no part whatsover in this historic moment whatsovever. Tomorrow, I'll be just as poor as I am today; and I hope my old clunker of a car starts in mid-winter January; but, honestly....

    I was a student in the 60s. For the first time in decades I feel like I could don a USA flag replica t-shirt and wear it while beaming with pride almost anywhere in the world people and feel safe and admired. Impersonating an American – Ah, remember those days?!

    I'm saddened only by the thoughts of those of us who didn't live to see this day; grandparents, politicians, campaign supporters news people and just plain folks. Life is just too cruel sometimes.

    Well neighbor, Congratulations on proving that you are still capable of being the most powerful and admired nation on the face of the earth.

    Now try not to screw it up!!

    November 5, 2008 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  16. Darmean

    MY state goes blue!
    Florida, I am proud of you!
    Whether you want to accept Obama or not, is of no with it just as we dealt with 8 yrs of Bush.

    November 5, 2008 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  17. John

    Obama, I am praying that everyone will work with you to make America better.

    November 5, 2008 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  18. russ

    It's only a matter of time brfore the disillusionment begins and the democrats begin to turn on eachother. Four years from now, after the wars in Iraq and Afganistan have been lost, Russia becomes the USSR after taking back the Ukraine, gas is back up to $5.00 per gallon permanently, cost of a kilowatt hour of electricity has doubled, Iran is a nuclear power and an American city is 4000 degrees, we'll see just how popular the savior is.

    November 5, 2008 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  19. Valarie in California

    Hooray for Obama!! Finally some hope for America. McCain lost because he was a lousy choice. And Sarah Palin ha! I am so glad I don't have to hear her voice again. I am so glad she is returning to Alaska maybe McCain can join her up there. It sounds like a good place for "mavericks."

    November 5, 2008 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  20. Clay

    John Wayne may have captured my feelings best: "I didn’t vote for him, but he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job."

    Democrats should be careful saying things such as "THE WHITE HOUSE IS OURS". The White House, and what it stand for, belongs to us all. As George Bush showed us all, when you start believing that the White House is yours (and acting that way), you and your party will eventually be shown the door.

    Anyone who thinks that this econcomic crisis isn't goign to get much worse before it gets better is either fooling themselves or just not paying attention. If President Obama can engineer an economic turnaround, good for him (and good for all of us). If he can't, the Republicans will get another chance in four years.

    Win graciously, lose graciously. We all get our turn.

    November 5, 2008 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  21. Leslie

    Welcome to the White House, Obma. You deserve to be there, with all the work you with your team, have proven how a believe system works.
    The strength & your believes with your family showed your organization all over USA what is true.

    For those who are upset it is time for the change. A very good change.
    Their is no need to racist, because we need each to make things work + one person can not do everything by themselves. It is not to treat other person of different culture negatively. They are the same as you + helping each other move things around.

    The Blues enjoy your Day.....

    God Bless All Americans.

    November 5, 2008 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  22. Brian

    Well said Clay. This is not a time for sides of ours and theirs, but rather a time when American's have to support and push Obama now that he is all of our president for the "changes" we hope he can provide.

    November 5, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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